Montana’s first flu death of the season reported in Cascade County

Health Watch MTN
Posted at 1:44 PM, Oct 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-06 15:56:19-04

GREAT FALLS — The Cascade City-County Health Department on Friday announced that a person in Cascade County died last week due to influenza; the agency says the person was under the age of 50.

The death last week was Montana’s first during the 2023-2024 respiratory illness season.

The CCHD said in a news release that between 2018-2022, fourteen Cascade County residents died due due to influenza infection.

Eighteen influenza infections, three of which required hospitalization, have been confirmed in Cascade County over the past four weeks.

The CCHD encourages people to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer regularly and stay home when sick in order to limit spread, and says that immunization remains the best form of protection against serious outcomes of respiratory illnesses, such as hospitalization or death due to infection.

Immunizations for flu and COVID (while supplies remain) are available at CCHD by appointment, and walk-in clinics will be held throughout October:

  • Friday, October 6, 2pm-5pm, at Great Falls Fire Rescue (GFFR) Training Center, 1900 9th St S
  • Friday, October 13, 2pm-5pm, at GFFR Station 2, 731 6th St NW
  • Wednesday, October 18, 10am-4pm, at Great Falls Public Library, 301 2nd Ave N
  • Friday, October 20, 2pm-5pm, at GFFR Training Center, 1900 9th St S
  • Friday, October 27, 2pm-5pm, at GFFR Station 4, 1800 Fox Farm Rd

In addition, immunization for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is now available by appointment at CCHD. During the 2022-2023 season, there were 456 confirmed RSV cases in Cascade County. Immunization is available, while supplies remain, for the following eligibility groups:

  • Adults age 60 and older;
  • Women who are 32-36 weeks pregnant (immunization provides protection against severe RSV illness in the recipient's baby for up to 6 months after birth);
  • Newborns and babies under 1 year of age and born during or entering their first RSV season; and
  • Children up to 24 months who remain at risk of severe RSV disease through their second RSV season.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the CCHD at 406-454-6950.